tv Washington Week With Gwen Ifill PBS June 19, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
gwen: the attacks in charleston force us to another crossroads. al qaeda takes another hit. the president's trade agenda bounces back and the republican campaign speeds into overdrive tonight on "washington week." president obama: there is something particularly heartbreaking about death happening in a place in which we seek solace. and we seek peace, in a place of worship. gwen: another mass shooting, this time in a church, revives recurring debates about race, hate, and the roots of violence. >> the only reason someone can walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate. gwen: the questions, why and what happens next? in washington, the president's
trade agenda bounces back as the house clears the way to fast-track a big deal. >> trade is another one where we find common ground we're able to work together and get things accomplished on behalf of the american people. gwen: the c.i.a. announces another al qaeda leader targeted and killed bringing to an even dozen the number of strikes this year. is it making a difference? and, two more candidates joined the presidential race but of the two, all eyes are officially on jeb bush. >> it's nobody's turn. it's everybody's test. and it's wide open. exactly as the contest for president should be. gwen: covering the week, carrie johnson, justice correspondent for npr, chuck babington washington correspondent for the associated press yochi dreazen managing editor for "foreign policy magazine," and dan balz chief correspondent for "the washington post."
>> award-winning reporting and analysis covering history as it happens, live from our nation's capitol, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. we're committed to smart and light, secure and bold. in a world of enduring needs the men and women of boeing are proud to build and deliver critical capabilities for those who serve to protect our nation and its allies and that's an enduring commitment. >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by prudential. additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation,
donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the annenberg foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again live from washington moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. the names are quite ordinary. cynthia hurd, susie jackson ethel lance, depayne middleton-doctor daniel simmons and myra thompson, the names of the victims at the hands of a
man who was welcomed into a bible study. the shock has been palpable. >> we woke up today and the heart and soul of south carolina was broken. president obama: i want to be clear. i'm note have zind. i'm not resigned. i have faith we will eventually do the right thing. i was simply making the point that we have to move public opinion. we have to feel a sense of urgency. it is not good enough simply to show sympathy. gwen: attorney general loretta lynch launched a hate crime investigation into the shootings which means what? carrie: that means the f.b.i. and civil rights investigators are on the ground in charleston looking over the shoulder of the state authorities who are also investigating. the shooting allegedly by
21-year-old dylann roof. the f.b.i. has seized some computers in the roof home. they're going to be searching for his browser history, looking for his contacts on social media, and spanning out to interview his friends, family members and associates. the key gwen, in proving a hate crime, is being able to establish someone was motivated by racial animus because -- or animus from religious identity or sexuality. we have proof that dylann roof was pictured wearing the flags of south africa pre-apartheid. there is also a statement indicating that after he killed these nine people, he stood over one of the victims and uttered a racial epithet before leaving the ame church in charleston.
all of these things are important to establishing a hate crime motive. gwen: we saw the president saying he's not resigned in response to the fact that he came out yesterday and said there ought to be -- we ought to get over this gun violence but i don't expect we will. i'm paraphrasing him poorly. but what can the federal government do, if it is determined a, that it is a hate crime, and that gun violence is really at the root of it? carrie: at base, this administration already tried and put a lot of capital after the killings of the children in newtown, connecticut, towards a bill and other measures and that did not succeed in congress. congress didn't do anything with regard to that issue so what the administration has done in the meantime is propose common-sense gun regulations to do via executive fiat. those are not really moving the dial though, and the president said today we need the american
people to rise up and influence and lean on their members of congress to try to break a stalemate to the extent one exists on gun regulations. >> what's the relationship between the federal hate crime investigation and what the state authorities are doing? carrie: attorney general loretta lynch says the feds are working on a parallel track with the state. often what that means, dan, is that they'll allow the state authorities to go first as they have in this case. this defendant, dylann roof, faces nine murder charges and a weapons charge but federal authorities are looking over the shoulder of the state and may weigh in with a federal case either based on hate crimes or potentially even a domestic terrorism charge. that's down the line though not something we should expect right away. >> carrie, killing nine innocent people for whatever reason or perceived reason is a horrendous thing. would there be some difference in the way the case will be punished if convicted or
prosecuted if it's determined a hate crime or not a hate crime? carrie: in the south carolina state system, these murder charges are death penalty eligible and governor nikki haley has decreed the state will seek the death penalty against dylann roof. the federal charges also carry very serious penalties -- life without parole and the like. but the role of the federal government here appears to be mostly sending a message that this administration cares that it views these acts as accused to be vile and they're sending a message by broadcasting their involvement in the investigation. >> if you have the state pursuing death penalty charges the federal charges could also carry the death penalty, what happens procedurally? who goes first and if convicted, who kills him first? carrie: attorney general lynch said this week that they're looking at all avenues at the federal level. she says it's too soon to say
whether the states or the feds will go first but the states have gone first. dylann roof is now locked up without the possibility of bond on these nine charges and that system has already moved into action. so to the extent the federal authorities decide to weigh in with a charge, that will likely happen further down the road. i heard today from law enforcement sources they're very eager to get into the computers and see his browser history. right now it appears as if he was acting alone but they want to see what he was looking at, what materials he was reading, what other influences may have acted on him. gwen: there's a larger question of what alone means in our society but we can't address all of that tonight. we'll come back to it. thank you, carrie. back to capitol hill, this week a reversal of policy fortune for the president that brings him closer to his goal of pulling off a major 12-nation trade agreement before his term ends. last week, right at that table we said this deal looked, if not dead, ailing. what changed, chuck?
chuck: what changed was that the pro-trade forces realized they made a miscalculation, starting this thing off. it's not that unusual to try to put a package together in congress that will get votes from each side so when they originally put the package together they had fast-track authority that president obama wants that's primarily supported by republicans and packaged that in the senate with this trade adjustment assistance for displaced workers something democrats support and they thought they would get enough votes from everybody. it worked in the senate but failed in the house early because the democrats there who strongly oppose fast-track said we'll vote against our own program, the trade assistance program, to bring the whole package down and they did that. it shocked the people who put it together and then they were in a bind. gwen: they came out of the bind, we assume, although it has to go to the senate. what shifted? did votes shift?
did sentiment shift? did leadership take charge of this and say they'll force it through? chuck: votes hardly shifted at all. they decoupled what they originally coupled so this time instead of voting on the combined package or in the house they voted for them desperately but they were -- separately but they were one package, they separated them. they didn't want to go back to the senate but they have to and said have a stand-alone vote on the fast-track authority and they had enough votes in the house on that part. gwen as a truism in congress members hate to take two different votes on one tough issue. once a member has cast a vote on a hard issue, he or she almost always sticks with that because they figure the worst thing is to go both ways so they had enough votes for fast track and now it goes to the senate. >> what's the prospect in the senate and what procedural gamesmanship will have to go on
there? chuck: the gamesmanship could be complicated. supporters of obama's agenda are optimistic because as in the house, enough votes have been cast already in favor of the notion of fast track. if those votes can hold, then what should happen as it did in the house, there should be enough votes for that. but democrats are still insisting we're not giving up on this trade assistance program. we've got to have it. if we can't have it in the same package, you have to promise we'll get it another way. there's a big debate, how do they get the assurance they'll get that if the fast track is passed alone. carrie: chuck, what are you hearing about unions leaning on democratic members on these issues? chuck: they're pounding on them. the unions have been very, very forceful like no issue i can remember, vehemently against fast track.
afl-cio wrote a letter saying we want you to vote against the trade assistance program which they've championed in the past, because that's how important the issue is. gwen: you were at a press conference that nancy pelosi gave this week and asked her about the nature of the disagreement. this was her answer. >> this has been a long-standing difference in the democratic party having nothing to do with the president of the united states and everything to do with our bosses, the constituents we work for. but again, we have deep friendships, deep respect and move on to the next subject. gwen: let's move on, either. nothing to see here. chuck: our bosses are the constituents we work for. indeed, when a member wants re-election in congress, that's the boss. what's happened, in so many democratic districts and especially in the all-important democratic primaries in the
liberal districts, free trade has a really bad name, rightly or wrongly, especially since nafta and it's an article of belief among many liberals, democrats and union members that this is a very bad deal so democrats in the house and senate are under tremendous pressure and the great majority of voting against the fast track, against the president. >> do you think hillary will get credit for speaking out against it from the unions? chuck: i don't know how to answer that. hillary clinton has been pressed repeatedly by reporters to take a stand on this. when she was secretary of state, she defended this asian treaty the president is trying to put together and remember it was her husband who was president when nafta -- he pushed nafta very hard. she studeuously avoided a solid answer one way or the other. her democratic opponents mocked
her and said why don't you take a stronger stand? gwen: that's not over yet either. the week began with a victory lap as the c.i.a. declared it had killed a major al qaeda leader their biggest get since osama bin laden was killed. as isis continues to grow in strength, what was the lasting significance of the success really yochi? yochi: unfortunately not that great. this is a man who ran what was thought to be one of the most dangers al qaeda branches in the world, in yemen. we don't talk about yemen as much as we should. the fear among intelligence officials is that if a major attack takes place in the u.s. and if an american plane is brought down, it would be because of a terror group in yemen. the specific branch in al qaeda that wuhayshi ran was a bomb maker named abrahim alsiri who
specialized in making bombs out of liquids and powders that metal detectors and dogs can't pick up and when you talk to people in t.s.a., c.i.a., f.b.i. they're genuinely testified this will bring down a plane. carrie: what are you hearing about the efficacy of the u.s. intelligence in terms of targeting? there are questions about whether they know who they're targeting? yochi: it's interesting. when wuhayshi was killed, -- that same day after they killed weinstein they didn't know who they were firing at and they killed another al qaeda leader. we like to think of drones as precision weapons they never make a mistake. sometimes when they have a success, they don't know who the person was when they fired the
missile that hit the building. dan: there's been so much focus about islamic state and the threat from them. this is a reminder that al qaeda in various forms is still there. which is the greater threat particularly to the united states homeland? yochi: for us living in the united states, it's al qaeda, not the islamic state. we think about their name, they're focused on holding the territory they have. there are fears that people who fought for their passports would leave. al qaeda, we know they want to hit the u.s. the yemeni branch, the bomb maker, al-siri almost brought down planes coming very close three different times. that's the branch to worry about. chuck: what is it about yemen? why so much focus on yemen? why is so much terrorism taking root in that country? yochi: yemen is ravaged by a
civil war and proxy war between saudi arabia and iran and there's chaos and the c.i.a. and u.s. special operations command pulled personnel out of yemen so if you're al qaeda, you're pressured by the yemeni government and the u.s. it's an open ranged and terror groups it's like plants getting water. chaos to them is what water is to a plant. once it begins around them, the group grows. gwen: we have numbers from an annual report from the state department that came out about terrorist activity. what did it tell us? yochi: 32,000 people died from terror attacks in 2014. the number of wounded is up 35%. most of the deaths are in afghanistan, iraq, pakistan, but 33 -- 33,000 people.
gwen: how do they quantify that? there's so much war about numbers -- amnesty international counts differently than the pakistani government counts. how do they decide what qualifies as a terror attack and a victim? yochi: the state department numbers are swishy and without question understated. my best guess is with the broadest definition, someone killed by a nationalistic group the numbers would be higher. not to go to domestic issues, but if we were to consider the act of horror in charleston as terror, the numbers would be higher. gwen: dan has spent time in iowa this week where the world's most engaged early primary voters got to hear from another series of candidates this week but he also traveled to florida where former governor jeb bush threw his hat
into the ring. >> so here's what it comes down to. our country's on a very bad course. and the question is, what are we going to do about it? the question for me, the question for me is what am i going to do about it? and i've decided i'm a candidate for president of the united states of america! [cheers and applause] gwen: as campaign announcement go, how did this measure up, dan? dan: we measure politics week by week and it was a pretty good week for jeb bush starting with that announcement but followed a not-so-good week the previous week. but one of the interesting things about it, this was done at a community college miami-dade community college and it was a big audience and it was a very boisterous audience and diverse audience. it had all of the energy one associates with south florida and miami and everybody kind of fed off of that.
he made several, i thought important arguments. one was, he stressed his record as governor of florida. he went into that in some detail. both as a way to talk about who he is but also as a way to say i have executive experience, not everybody in this race does. the second thing he did with that announcement and subsequently drgt -- during the week in iowa was to convince people he's a true conservative who said in iowa at the end of his opening remarks in pella on wednesday, i am a committed conservative and a reformer. it's a question mark with a lot of voters in the republican party and he was working on that. gwen: decided not to use the term "severe conservative?" dan: , no, not severe. the other thing that was explicit and implicit, this is a candidate who will present himself as someone who would be
a good general election candidate. he is trying to say to republicans, and there are some democrats who believe this, that he would match up better against hillary clinton who was presumed to be -- she's certainly the favorite for the nomination, better than his opponents because he's prepared to do and say things that will expand the appeal of the republican party beyond what it is today. carrie: that brings us to immigration which has been a problem for mr. bush with some members of his own party. how's he going to balance that? dan: it was very interesting this week. there was not a line about immigration in the prepared text of his announcement speech but about 2/3 of the way through it, there was a disruption up in the balcony and a group of young people stood up and across their shirts it spelled "legal status is not enough" which is a reference to his position which is he's in favor of a path to legalization for illegal immigrants but not a path to
citizenship. in iowa, on wednesday, he took the issue head-on and basically said this is an issue killing the republican party. he said i'm for a variety of things, including a path to legalization and he said, frankly i don't see any other way to deal with 11 million people who are now in the shadows. we have to somehow bring them into the open and this is the way i want dodd -- to do it and he said as long as we, the republicans, let this issue linger, the democrats will use it as a wedge issue and it has helped them in the last two elections to win the presidential election and he said i want to win. chuck: dan, talk about the obstacles jeb bush faces to getting the republican nomination. gwen: including perhaps his last name. dan: it doesn't end with that but -- but it is an issue. there are people within the republican party, many of whom
are great admirers of his father, george h.w. bush, and some who admire his brother, the more controversial of the two bush presidents, who nonetheless feel two bush presidencies is enough and the country should move on and that is a very difficult thing to overcome. there's no kind of argument you can make about that. so for bush, he has to find a way around that to convince people. and i think that his advisers believe that now that he's a candidate he can begin to introduce himself as himself. so that he's more jeb than bush and he began to do that this week. he's talking more about who he is and what he's done and his hope is that as people get to know him they'll have a different view, but in many ways it's as difficult for him to do that as it is for hillary clinton to reintroduce herself as long as she's been in the public eye. gwen: we'll have to leave it there tonight. that's really interesting.
we may be talking about jeb bush again. we have to go. as always, the conversation will continue online where you'll be able to find the "washington week" webcast extra. later tonight and all week along at pbs.org/washingtonweek. among other things, we'll discuss whether the st. louis cardinals hacked the astros or maybe we'll talk about donald trump. i don't know. keep up on developments with me and judy woodruff on the pbs news hour. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org.] >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> how much money do you have in your pocket right now? >> i have $40. >> $21. >> could something that small make an impact on something as big as your retirement?
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. good evening. welcome. i'm twee view. >> i'm scott shaper. we'll examine who is coming up on same-sex marriage. >> we'll begin about a story about the women who clean the offices where you work and the stores where you shop. they often do their jobs alone at night for low wages. those conditions have made them vulnerable to sexual harass the and assault. for the past 18 months reporters from five news organizations, including kqed have been investigating the abuse of janitor women. there